Monday, August 31, 2015

Short Treks Season Animated 2.1

“The Pirates of Orion”
Air Date: “September 7, 1974
Mom Title: “Sick Spock”

Coriocytosis comes on board, a nuisance cold to the humans, but fatal to those with copper based blood. Good thing we don’t have any of…oh wait.

Instead of blaming the, yet again, pathetic medical safety protocols of Starfleet, or his own inability to stock any drugs that wouldn’t have a high street value, McCoy cracks wise about Spock’s green blood again. 

Business as usual.

The animation limits jump in the viewer’s face again when the Captain places an emergency call to sick bay while Bones is standing directly next to his chair.  Oh well, at least there’s a bunch of Sulu and Uhura in this one.

There are also some cool ship designs. The Huron is a crazy looking freighter with four warp nacells. That’s more than a dreadnought!   They must be like intergalactic Fed Ex.

The bat looking, red Orion ships are quite nifty too.

The Orions call back to the Babel conference, showing the writers were paying attention.  Not much attention, though, since the ship’s identity was clearly intended to be a mystery in the story, except that the title spoiled it.

It’s interesting to see how the Saturday morning censor restrictions modify the standard Trek tools for problem resolution. The Orions had no shields or weapons, making the most obvious solution to beam hordes of armed security Redshirts over to take over the vessel and grab the cure. Since that level of violence (or animation) would not be allowed, the transporter is instead used to beam a bomb out from inside a backpack.

That’s some pinpoint control.  Forget exploration, a career of “space pickpocket” would be much more lucrative.

Air Date: September 9, 1974
Mom Title: “Jerky Modular Guy”

Tribbles author David Gerrold gives us another almost real one with his trademark comedic elements.

Last episode they beamed an item out of a backpack, this week they don’t notice coordinates that make Kirk fall off a small cliff. Nice confirmation and recon sensor work there Scotty.

Hey, I think Uhura is in command again. She’s the highest ranking one left, and Lieutenant M’Ress is at the communications station when we hear the landing party called by Uhura.  

There seems to be no documentation in any science or diplomatic computer to let them know Bem comes from a race with interchangeable and removable body parts. You’d think that would be the first thing another species would notice.  It may be some plot fell out converting this script from live action to cartoon that would have explained the omission.

The “Lights of Zetar” appear to show up and punish BEM by preventing his separation.  Starfleet decides to quarantine the planet, just like Talos IV.  The aliens are non-corporeal and refer to Human Kind (or whatever kind) as children and their “experiment”.  See? it’s all connected.

This is the point in Trek history that established Kirk’s middle name as Tiberius, though due to the “cartoon cannon conundrum” it wouldn’t be confirmed until it was said on the big screen, in a Klingon courtroom many years later.

“The Practical Joker”
Air Date: September 9, 1974
Mom Title: “Ship’s Computer Goes Funny in the Head”

The Romulans are attacking…again. 

Another weird energy cloud shows up and infects the computer. Let’s see, where have we seen an energy being take over all ships systems while it laughed a lot?

I think the cloud is a dispersed, mentally addled Redjac.  Instead of being homicidal, breaking it up into a fine mist in space has reduced to being merely annoying.

On the positive side, in addition to pranking crewmembers, the being has upgraded the food synthesizers to real cuisine, instead of the multicolored jello cubes everyone used to eat in the live action show. (Outside of the occasional Chicken Sandwich and Coffee, or ice cream of course.)

We see the first Holodeck on an Enterprise in this outing, years before it would be a regular plot generator on the Next Generation.  The fact that it had no speakers or communication equipment on it may explain over a half century of disuse before it came back.

Oddly, Bones, Sulu and Uhura, three department heads, are all in the Holodeck taking a break at the same time during a crisis situation.  Not so oddly, it’s Lieutenant Uhura who takes charge in there when the snow hits the fan.

Redjac’s second greatest prank is Doctor McCoy’s fault.  It should come as no surprise that Bones stocks enough laughing gas to fill the entire vessel.

Redjac’s greatest prank is amazing.  Not that he thought it up, or that it worked.

No, the amazing part is that no one on board seemed the slightest bit surprised or confused that the Enterprise travels with a giant sized inflatable version of itself in the cargo bay…

For just such an occasion!

Even poorly animated, Kirk’s bluffing skills are outstanding, pulling a Bre’r Rabbit gag on his own beloved ship and simultaneously fooling the Romulans into infecting their ship.

Maybe that’s why they disappeared from contact with the Federation for so many years. The Romulans were dealing with the introduction of an insane, body stealing, serial killer into their society.

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